A nature book recommendation: The Remedies by Katharine Towers

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2ctf48v.
She writes with a marvellously gentle wit and a metrical intelligence. I particularly love her poem Chaffinch.
Book description from Google Books:
Katharine Towers’ second collection, The Remedies, is a book of small wonders: from a house drowning in roses to crickets on an August day, from Nerval’s lobster to the surrealism of flower remedies, these poems explore the fragility of our relationship with the natural world. Towers also shows us what relationship can aspire to be: each poem attunes us to another aspect of that world, and shows what strangeness and wonder might be revealed when we properly attend to it. The result is a lyric, unforgettable collection which offers just the spiritual assuagement its title promises – and shows Katharine Towers developing into a major poetic talent.
The book is rated 4.00/5 at goodreads.com, from 21 ratings. See 1 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2cteLuw.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sr4Yce.

A thriller book recommendation: Cold Earth (Shetland) by Ann Cleeves

A critic review (source Financial Times) can be read at: http://on.ft.com/2s4vM5f.
Few British writers can boast Cleeves’ consummate skill at evoking atmosphere, and the sense of weather and terrain is as crucial to the success of her Shetland novels as the characterisation of Perez, whose Mediterranean ancestry ensures that he is always an outsider in this cloistered community. One of the most memorable entries in the series.
Book description from Google Books:
In the dark days of a Shetland winter, torrential rain triggers a landslide that crosses the main Lerwick-Sumburgh road and sweeps down to the sea. At the burial of his old friend Magnus Tait, Jimmy Perez watches the flood of mud and peaty water smash through a croft house in its path. Everyone thinks the croft is uninhabited, but in the wreckage he finds the body of a dark-haired woman wearing a red silk dress. In his mind, she shares his Mediterranean ancestry and soon he becomes obsessed with tracing her identity. Then it emerges that she was already dead before the landslide hit the house. Perez knows he must find out who she was, and how she died.Also available in the Shetland series are Raven Black, White Nights, Red Bones, Blue Lightning, Dead Water and Thin Air.
The book is rated 4.17/5 at goodreads.com, from 2134 ratings. See 207 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2qLrNGu.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2qL6ghp.

A history book recommendation: Swing Time by Zadie Smith

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2lm3Fut.
The book relies not on plot or character development but on a series of skillfully rendered passages to propel the story as it swings back and forth through time, though not necessarily with perfect rhythm.
Book description from Google Books:
A New York Times bestseller Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from North West London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth and On Beauty Two brown girls dream of being dancers–but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either. Tracey makes it to the chorus line but struggles with adult life, while her friend leaves the old neighborhood behind, traveling the world as an assistant to a famous singer, Aimee, observing close up how the one percent live. But when Aimee develops grand philanthropic ambitions, the story moves from London to West Africa, where diaspora tourists travel back in time to find their roots, young men risk their lives to escape into a different future, the women dance just like Tracey–the same twists, the same shakes–and the origins of a profound inequality are not a matter of distant history, but a present dance to the music of time.
The book is rated 3.61/5 at goodreads.com, from 17836 ratings. See 2253 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2kAys2F.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tFUY2G.

A nature book recommendation: The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature by J. Drew Lanham

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2essGxr.
When you’re done with “The Home Place,” it won’t be done with you. Its wonders will linger like everything luminous.
Book description from Google Books:
“In me, there is the red of miry clay, the brown of spring floods, the gold of ripening tobacco. All of these hues are me; I am, in the deepest sense, colored.” From these fertile soils of love, land, identity, family, and race emergesThe Home Place, a big-hearted, unforgettable memoir by ornithologist and professor of ecology J. Drew Lanham. Dating back to slavery, Edgefield County, South Carolina–a place “easy to pass by on the way somewhere else”–has been home to generations of Lanhams. InThe Home Place, readers meet these extraordinary people, including Drew himself, who over the course of the 1970s falls in love with the natural world around him. As his passion takes flight, however, he begins to ask what it means to be “the rare bird, the oddity.” By turns angry, funny, elegiac, and heartbreaking,The Home Place is a remarkable meditation on nature and belonging, at once a deeply moving memoir and riveting exploration of the contradictions of black identity in the rural South–and in America today.
The book is rated 4.30/5 at goodreads.com, from 73 ratings. See 17 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dA8vjh.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sqUbig.

A parenting-relationships book recommendation: They Left Us Everything: A Memoir by Plum Johnson

A critic review (source National Post arts) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2cLpba9.
It’s the kind of slim, unassuming memoir that hits you deep in the gut, leaving you bruised and thoughtful long after its last page.
Book description from Google Books:
Winner of the 2015 RBC Taylor Prize Winner of the 2016 Forest of Reading� Evergreen Award(tm)  After almost twenty years of caring for elderly parents–first for their senile father,  and then for their cantankerous ninety-three-year-old mother–author Plum Johnson  and her three younger brothers experience conflicted feelings of grief and relief when  their mother, the surviving parent, dies. Now they must empty and sell the beloved  family home, which hasn’t been de-cluttered in more than half a century. Twenty-three  rooms bulge with history, antiques, and oxygen tanks. Plum remembers her loving  but difficult parents who could not have been more different: the British father, a  handsome, disciplined patriarch who nonetheless could not control his opinionated,  extroverted Southern-belle wife who loved tennis and gin gimlets. The task consumes  her, becoming more rewarding than she ever imagined. Items from childhood trigger  memories of her eccentric family growing up in a small town on the shores of Lake  Ontario in the 1950s and 60s. But unearthing new facts about her parents helps her  reconcile those relationships with a more accepting perspective about who they were  and what they valued.   They Left Us Everything is a funny, touching memoir about the importance of preserving  family history to make sense of the past and nurturing family bonds to safeguard the  future.
The book is rated 3.82/5 at goodreads.com, from 1885 ratings. See 390 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2cLq6Ye.
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A law book recommendation: Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention by Mary Sarah Bilder

A critic review (source Washington Times) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2aBmt2P.
This thoroughly researched and elegantly written book tells the story of a remarkable Founding Father and the exhaustive notes he set down during the sweltering summer of 1787…
Book description from Google Books:
No document depicts the Constitutional Convention’s charismatic figures, crushing disappointments, and miraculous triumphs with the force of Madison’s Notes. But how reliable is this account? Drawing on digital technologies and textual analysis, Mary Sarah Bilder reveals that Madison revised to a far greater extent than previously recognized.
The book is rated 3.39/5 at goodreads.com, from 18 ratings. See 9 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2aBlK1G.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2sqDW4x.